Posted by: healingtheworkplace | December 8, 2010

Personal Leadership And Stress Management

Hi there, a few years ago I was working in a very stressful environment with a toxic boss who had no business being in the position that he was in. Some days I drove home from work in tears. Other days I kept my emotions inside.

Anyway, during that stressful period I visited my doctor and discovered that my blood pressure was too high.  Way too high!

Rather than leave the job, which in hind site would have made sense, I decided to try and bring my blood pressure down myself by learning how to meditate.  I found a wonderful teacher and signed up for a series of lessons.

Now, if you’ve ever tried meditating and given up in despair I would highly recommend that you finding a great teacher and get started.  It worked for me and I was able to bring my blood pressure down to within  normal range!

Meditation is a form of mindfulness.

 And mindfulness, being awake and using full intelligence, is one of the principles of personal leadership.

 In other words, “mindfulness is about being awake and paying attention” and no-where is this more important than in our roles as leaders.

We are all leaders of our own lives and this includes taking responsibility for our health and well-being.

In our crazy, busy lives we often lose touch with what is happening to our bodies and we pay the price in a number of ways:

  • Gaining too much weight
  • Being unable to sleep at night
  • Eating the wrong food and not getting proper nutrition
  • Experiencing headaches and other stress related aches and pains
  • Feeling out of balance
  • Losing touch with friends
  • Wrecking havoc on our family relationships

 Need I say more? 

Being mindful assists us in getting in touch with the physical sensations in our bodies—physical sensations that are telling us that something is going on and we had better pay attention.

The authors of the book Personal Leadership compare these physical sensations to the “canary in the coal mine” the early warning system that miners used before more advanced technological  systems were discovered.

For me it was crying. Oh, did I mention the headaches? For you it might be feelings of anxiety or anger. Each of us will react differently to stress in our lives.

 What’s important is that we become aware, we listen to our bodies, and we take action accordingly. In other words, we all have an early warning system of our own, we just need to slow down and pay attention.

Being mindful and slowing down will improve your health and well-being, your relationships and your ability to lead others. 

Being mindful is also a way to improve your problem-solving ability in the moment by making space for creative thoughts to emerge.

 More about that next time!

 Now Breathe!!!     Lesley



  1. While I appreciate these articles very much, I tend to think it’s a bit of a stretch when the author states that –
    “Every one of us is in charge of our own lives”
    “We are all leaders of our own lives”
    As much as we all want to be in full control and in charge of our lives, more often than not that doesn’t happen. Oh, come on! Look at the recent funding cuts in health care and education. Look at the two famous politicians resigning… Look at HST imposed on all of us dispite of thousands of signitures collected. And then there are also deaths, illness and other unfortunate circumstances. You can only try to control things this much. What do others think?

    • I think we make sense of our own lives and learn to choose the battles we fight. We may not be able to win the war, but we can take charge of something – however minute it may be – even if it is only our attitude about how we respond to things that may seem out of our reach, influence or power, to change. We can point fingers and say ‘What’s the use – I can’t make a difference” – or we can say “The only thing I can change is ‘me’ – and do it.

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